How to Convert Knots to Miles Per Hour

For many people converting one unit to a different type of unit or measurement is a little confusing. The match calculation might be a little basic, but the logic behind it is not so intuitive. If you want to convert knots to miles per hour, a little background information might make this a little easier because the unit of knots and where it came from isn't exactly common knowledge. A knot is 1/60th of a degree of latitude, or a minute of latitude, so it is actually a minute of distance. There are 90 degrees from the equator to the north or the south pole, so a knot is 1/5400th (90 degrees x 60) the distance from the equator to the pole. So as you travel on the ocean, you are moving in minutes per mile, or the nautical mile called "knots" for short.


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    Find a book on the history of sailing. It might not be necessary for learning how to convert knots to miles per hour, but if you are interested in this conversion, you are probably interested in sailing and would enjoy such a book. There is a historical aspect of the term "knots" as well, and that will help your understanding of this conversion.
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    Search for information on international maritime law. It is here where you will learn that the international nautical mile was defined as 1852 meters by the First International Extraordinary Hydro-graphic Conference in Monaco in 1929. Before 1929, there was no standard and this made international travel difficult, and government treaties were a challenge to say the least.
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    Learn about air travel and meteorology also. Air travel is sometimes referred to in terms of nautical miles or knots. Most commercial airlines will do the conversion for you and often will refer to how fast the plane is going in miles per hour. In general, more people understand and comprehend in miles per hour rather than knots. So air travel can sometimes be a real-life example of using knots as a unit of speed or movement. You can then also take the value reported in knots and then divide it by two. This will give you any reported wind speed in meters per second, which is the standard for measuring wind.
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    Read some nautical charts. Most of these charts are constructed on the Mercator Projection. As linear projection is nearly impossible in this situation, you will have to learn that distance will need to be measured in minutes of latitude.
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    Figure out how many knots you are traveling, or plan on traveling. The equation to convert knots to miles per hour is: 1 Knot = 1.15077945 mph (1.85200000 km/h). Take your number of knots and multiply it by 1.15. This will give you how fast you are moving in miles per hour.

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Categories: Science